Ralph Says ANT-MAN AND THE WASP Is Another Solid Entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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FILM REVIEW: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

BY RALPH LINARDIC

Ant-Man worked partly in fact because it was a small-scale comedy with the usual Marvel action scenes to fit snuggly in between the family drama. Scott Lang is just an average goof ball put inserted into the superhero life, and that was refreshing. Like Ant-Man, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” did something similar in lowering the stakes and putting the characters and their families storylines first. If Ant-Man and The Wasp can repeat this formula, it’s the recipe for a good Marvel movie.

Ant-Man and The Wasp may be a comedy, but the personal moments between the characters is what make this movie work. The core of the film revolves around Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) trying to get through his house arrest, so he can spend more time with his daughter. The Wasp/Hope Pym (Evangeline Lily) plays a big part in family as well as she reconnects with her mother and father. Her father, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), did a great job playing off Hope’s character and showing how their relationship has evolved. In the first Ant-Man film, they have no chemistry, and the father-daughter plot was stale. However, in the sequel, we learn about their past and in turn start to feel sympathy for the family. Hope’s mother, Janet Van Dyne, plays a small part in the film relating to her relationship with her daughter, but the limited screen time we got with the duo was powerful.

Peyton Reed came back to direct Ant-Man 2 and brought the same visual/comedic flair that the first film had. Comedy is a hard genre of film to nail as it’s subjective. You can’t measure if something is funny or how hard the audience laughs yet, in the right hands like Reed’s, who knows how to make a comedic film visually interesting, you have the right emotional notes. Most major studio comedies are full of bland, cliché jokes that have been used numerous times. This makes the Ant-Man franchise a rare comedic set of films that stay fresh and use creative ways to get laughs. All of this is due to the director/actor combo of Peyton Reed and Paul Rudd. Both know how to craft comedy scenes that are lighthearted and funny while keeping the story moving. Peyton Reed made this film a comedy hit every time with his witty dialogue.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe, while known for its underutilized villains, has been getting better recently. From Michael Keaton’s Vulture, to Josh Brolin’s Thanos, Kevin Feige and company have been molding more relatable, human antagonist’s. Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost, while not one of the MCU’s best, was a stellar choice for this film. Her motivations are clear, her powers unique, and Ava’s backstory garnered real sympathy from audience. Nothing about her screams revolutionary, like a Thanos or a Joker (Ledger, not Leto) however, Ghost was utilized just enough to make her a solid villain, in my opinion.

Ant-Man and The Wasp is another unique entry in the MCU. It has visually interesting humor, a genuine human story, and a serviceable villain. Though this feels a bit like a middle of the road entry for Disney’s Marvel universe, it’s a solid one nonetheless.

 

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